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5 January 2018, 06:00
North East rail passengers travelling to and from Newcastle face a week of disruption from Saturday, as an £8.6m project to upgrade the tracks gets underway
The work on 19 sets of switches and crossings, known as points, is set to last from 6th January until the 14th.
It means a revised timetable will be in operation for some services to and from Durham, the Metro Centre and York – while some services will be replaced by buses.
Trains in and out of Newcastle will be extra busy too – especially as two Newcastle United games are being played at St James’ Park during the works.
Virgin Trains say they will be putting on extra staff and signage to help minimise disruption– but some train times will change by 15 minutes.
The majority of TransPennine Express services on the Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle & Manchester Airport to Newcastle routes will not run between York and Newcastle.
That means Thirsk, Northallerton, Darlington, Durham and Chester-le-Street stations will have a much reduced service.
The advice from Network Rail, via National Rail Enquiries, to check your journey before you travel.
Network Rail say the work, which is part of the Great North Rail Project, is essential, as the points at Newcastle failed 15 times in 10 months during 2017.
They say they are sorry for the disruption – and they’re doing it all in nine days to minimise delays and cancellations for passengers.
The points were originally installed in the 1980s, and despite being regularly maintained, Network Rail say they are due to be replaced.
The work has been in the planning for two years – long before Premier League football fixtures are decided.